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Coalition, Afghan Forces Rescue Prisoners

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2010 – A combined Afghan-coalition force was pursuing a senior Taliban leader yesterday when it found and rescued seven imprisoned Afghan citizens during an operation in Helmand province, military officials said.

The target of the operation was a Taliban commander believed to be responsible for raising and distributing funds collected from opium production and extorting money from local Afghan citizens. During the search for the target, seven shackled prisoners were found by the patrol. The prisoners were taken to an International Security Assistance Force base where they received medical screening and debriefing. Officials from Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior and ISAF are identifying the men and determining their status.

Before they entered the compound, the patrol made their presence known, requesting that anyone inside exit the compound. Two insurgents attempted to engage the force, and were killed. After searching the compound, the prisoners were found along with several improvised explosive devices, two AK-47 rifles, four 105 mm mortar rounds and a large amount of homemade explosives. The weapons were destroyed in place.

In other Sept. 2 news:

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained several insurgents in Kandahar province during pursuit of a Taliban acting district commander. The targeted individual took the position after Afghan and coalition forces captured several members of this network starting in May. The security force targeted a series of compounds in Kandahar City to search for the commander. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to exit the buildings peacefully and then cleared the compounds. After questioning residents, the security force detained seven suspected insurgents. The assault force did not fire their weapons and protected the women and children during the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban subcommander in Ghazni province. The subcommander's cell conducts ambushes, improvised explosive device attacks, and was linked to an indirect-fire attack against Forward Operating Base Ghazni in June. Intelligence tips led the security force to a compound outside the village of Arezo in Ghazni district. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker calling for all occupants to exit the buildings and then cleared the compound. After questioning the residents, the security force detained the subcommander. The security force found multiple weapons at the scene. The assault force did not fire their weapons and protected the women and children during the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained several insurgents in Qalat district, Zabul province, while in pursuit of a Taliban subcommander who is believed to have facilitated and coordinated IED attacks on Highway 1. The security force targeted a series of compounds off Highway 1 in the village of Khar Juy in pursuit of the subcommander. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker calling for all occupants to exit the buildings and then cleared the compounds. After questioning the residents, the security force detained four insurgents. Multiple weapons were found at the scene. The assault force did not fire their weapons during the operation and protected the women and children during the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained several insurgents in Khost province while in pursuit of a Haqqani network subcommander believed to be responsible for coordinating IED attacks that often harm innocent civilians. Intelligence tips led the security force to a compound in the village of Shinkay in Khost district. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker calling for all occupants to exit the buildings and then cleared the compounds. After questioning the residents, the security force detained the insurgents. The assault force did not fire their weapons and protected the women and children during the search.

-- An Afghan and coalition security force detained several insurgents in Helmand province, including a Taliban military commander believed to have direct ties to Taliban senior leadership based in Pakistan. The security force targeted a compound southeast of the village of Juy-e Shahi in Lashkar Gah district in pursuit of the commander. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker calling for all occupants to exit the buildings and then cleared the compound. After questioning the residents, the security force detained the commander and several of his associates. The assault force did not fire their weapons during the operation and protected the women and children during the search.

-- An Afghan parliamentary candidate and one other Afghan civilian were wounded following a grenade attack at the governor's compound in Ghazni City. Moulana Abdul Rahman, the parliamentary candidate, was wounded when a grenade exploded near his office. Haji Gull, an anesthesiology technician at Ghazni Hospital, also was injured in the blast. The two were initially taken to Ghazni Hospital to receive medical treatment, but later were transferred to Forward Operating Base Ghazni for further treatment. "These senseless attacks will not derail the upcoming elections and will not dissuade Afghan citizens from choosing to serve their country by seeking an elected position within the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan," said Army Brig. Gen. Steve Townsend, deputy commanding general for Regional Command-East and Combined Joint Task Force-101. The Afghan National Police is investigating the incident.

 

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